"Javadekar also said he wants the reach of community radio expanded in the country."
By Ranjana Narayan

New Delhi, June 12 - Matters are moving, and fast, in the information and broadcasting ministry under new minister Prakash Javadekar, who has asked officials to show quick progress in pushing ahead with ventures and also suggested launching a television channel for kids and one on animation on Doordarshan.

Javadekar has brought along with him the fast-paced movement that is becoming a hallmark of the Narendra Modi government.

According to officials, Javadekar has been clearing off piles of files, including many left over by his predecessor Manish Tewari of the UPA, in minutes.

Javadekar is result-oriented and monitoring everything. He keeps no decision pending; he clears files quickly, a senior official told IANS, declining to be named.

Javadekar, who was given a presentation by Prasar Bharati (PB) CEO Jawhar Sircar a few days ago, has told officials of the ministry that he wants to see the state-run broadcasters All India Radio and Doordarshan becoming the no.1 channels.

Give me quick progress, and I will back you in any way, the minister is quoted as saying to senior officials.

He is laying more emphasis on improving content of the two state-run broadcasters.

In order to attract more viewers, Javadekar has proposed launching a channel for kids. He also wants a programme on animation on DD, as it will attract youth. He was talking of the South Korean animation channels that are a hit, the official told IANS.

The minister has asked the ministry to see if regional language programmes can be translated and used in neighbouring states.

He has suggested that Malayalam TV programmes could be translated for the Tamil channels to improve content, said another official.

Javadekar, who holds independent charge of the ministry and is also environment minister, has asked the information and broadcasting ministry to create assets.

'Instead of asking for money, create assets,' the minister is believed to have directed officials.

As part of asset creation, the minister is looking at the unutilised spectrum lying with DD and AIR to see how it can be effectively used. He has also directed that an inventory be made of the vast land assets of the ministry.

He has also directed that the redundant studios of DD and AIR be made use of properly.

To demands for money for projects, the minister first demands that the officials show him a roadmap and the target. Give me a roadmap, and a target, is what the minister has told officials.

Even for a request to fill up the vacancies in Prasar Bharati, the minister has asked for an assessment of the purpose the officials are likely to fulfil.

When informed that there are 20,000 contractual employees with the PB, the minister wanted to know what role they played. He has asked the PB to create Extra Budgetary Resources by utilising unused assets.

With FM gaining in popularity, the minister has asked the ministry to examine whether FM can be expanded across the country. The proposal by private FM channels to read news highlights is also proposed to be examined and may get the nod, the official indicated.

Javadekar also said he wants the reach of community radio expanded in the country.

(Ranjana Narayan can be contacted at [email protected])


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